"I'm good!" Thalia said, no trace of last week's emotional rollercoaster entering into her smile. With the energy of the crowd's laughter still thrumming through her veins, she did feel good. "Gods, I missed this place. Why don't we grab a booth, you can tell me what's been going on."
As they peeled away from the bar, she shot the bartender a smile over her shoulder, making a mental note to leave a good tip at the end of the night. She wasn't going to knock Merlin's generosity, but a lot of the staff were new since she'd last been here and strolling in as an outsider and being straightaway marked as a VIP was gonna leave a certain impression. She'd have to work on that. Put in some time to get to know folks, the front- and back-of-house staff; find out what the local circuit was looking like these days.